Research on superbug suffers from low funding

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Research into the drug-resistant superbug Candida auris has received low amounts of federal funding, despite growing concern over the fungus' resistance to antifungal drugs, according to STAT.

Over 684 cases have been identified in the U.S. since May 2013, and standard hospital cleaning procedures often fail to eliminate the fungus. The CDC estimates between 30 and 60 percent of C. auris patients have died. 

Yet mycologists, who study fungi, say they receive little federal funding for research. Most funding comes from the pharmaceutical industry, which is more interested in "applied research" that can be sold than in research dedicated to preventing the infection in the first place.

Fungal researchers received $98 million in the last financial year, compared to nearly $300 million allocated to HIV researchers, according to Anthony Fauci, MD, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. Still, "the magnitude of the problem right now is not great," said Dr. Fauci, with under 700 total cases of C. auris in the U.S. since 2013.

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